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Ecuador v Japan Live Commentary, 6/24/19

1 - 1
Á. Mena (35)
S. Nakajima (15)
Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto


Both Ecuador and Japan shouldn't feel too bad about going out. Japan have treated this competition mainly as preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and their young side have given a decent account of themselves. Ecuador, meanwhile, can try again when the Copa America heads to Colombia and Argentina next year. Maybe they'll do better then. That's all for now. Goodbye!
That result means that Japan finish third in Group C with two points, the same as Paraguay in Group B, but don't go through as one of the best two third place finishers due to their inferior goal difference. Instead it's Paraguay who will face Brazil in Porto Alegre later this week. Uruguay got a late 1-0 win over Chile at the Maracana, so they top Group C to play Peru while Chile will play Colombia.
What a frantic end to the game that was. After a fairly even first half, Ecuador and Japan only succeeded in cancelling each other out until the last ten minutes when they remembered they needed to win. Both sides came close to finding a winner, especially Japan, who blew one chance and had another ruled out for offside. But a draw is the result, and both sides are eliminated from this Copa America.
90' + 7' No, Ecuador can't win it either. Mina is caught offside from Enner Valencia's free kick. It looks like both sides are going out!
90' + 6' The fourth official says there will be one final minute added on to make up for the VAR delay. Mina is fouled by Naomichi Ueda in Japan's half. Can Ecuador steal the win here?
90' + 5' NO GOAL! Nakajima was offside when he rolled the ball back. It's a shame for Japan but it's the right call.
90' + 4' Japan look to have nicked it! Maeda's shot from outside the box is saved by Dominguez, then Nakajima has his shot blocked from a tight angle. Nakajima rolls the ball back to Kubo in the centre, who slots home! Hang on, VAR is taking a look... 
90' + 3' Both teams are getting desperate now! First Preciado is caught offside from Enner Valencia's through ball, but the pair combine again shortly after, with Preciado fizzing a low shot across the face of Japan's goal! It's inches from nestling into the far corner. That was close for Ecuador.
90' + 1' There are five minutes left for either team to get the winner. Unsure where that time has come from, but bring it on!
90' A double chance for Japan to win the match! Kubo finds Maeda with an excellent through ball, but the young striker's effort is stopped by Dominguez! The save spills wide to Ueda, who has stars in his eyes and blazes over. 
L. Chicaiza
Yellow Card
89' Chicaiza sees a yellow card for chopping down Naomichi Ueda. What can Japan make of this?
D. Maeda
K. Itakura
88' It's one final change by Japan. Itakura goes off. Another young forward Maeda replaces him. Japan are going for it.
87' Chicaiza wins a free kick after some over-eager defending by Tomiyasu. Chicaiza lofts the free kick towards Japan's box and Mina heads over. This is petering out into a draw.
85' Kubo and Ayase Ueda one-two their way upfield before laying off to Nakajima to the left of Ecuador's box. The midfielder has a pop on goal but Dominguez drops low to save.
A. Valencia
Yellow Card
84' Antonio Valencia has only been on the pitch for a minute and has already been booked. That's for a foul on Sugioka.
A. Valencia
R. Ibarra
83' Ecuador also make a change. Man Utd veteran Antonio Valencia comes on for Ibarra.
H. Abe
K. Miyoshi
82' Japan can make that change now. Miyoshi off. The 20-year-old Kashiwa Antlers forward Abe comes on.
82' Iwata unfairly impedes Preciado's progress down Ecuador's left flank near the halfway line. It's an Ecuador free kick. 
80' To prove the point, Japan go upfield and huff and puff but Dominguez is largely untroubled. It looks like Japan are preparing another change.
78' Ibarra has a similar, less troublesome effort to Velasco's, with the same result. It's hard to see where a winning goal will come from with the two sides cancelling each other out.
77' Velasco comes close! The full back tries a rasping shot from distance that fizzes just past Kawashima's left-hand post. A draw is not enough for either side, remember.
75' Nakajima intercepts a rogue pass in midfield but can't make it count himself. Valencia tries to trick his way towards goal but Tomayasu is right by him.
L. Chicaiza
Á. Mena
74' Ecuador substitution - Chicaiza comes on to take the place of Mena, who's been less visible for the past while.
73' Japan are looking more mobile going forward again now that Ayase Ueda has come on. Either side could still win this.
R. Arboleda
Yellow Card
71' Arboleda is booked for a nasty foul on Nakajima. 20 minutes to go here in Belo Horizonte.
69' Ayase Ueda is getting about up front. First he has a shot blocked, then the youngster beats Dominguez to a Sugioka cross but loops the ball over.
68' Japan's centre-back Naomachi Ueda gets involved in the game by heading Iwata's free kick straight into Dominguez's arms. Down the other end, Preciado forces Kawashima to dive low to get on the end of his dipping shot from range.
A. Ueda
S. Okazaki
66' Okazaki, who's faded in this half, is replaced up front by the 20-year-old Ueda.
65' Kubo relieves the pressure on Japan by winning a free kick 40 yards out off Arboleda. There'll be a sub before that free kick is taken.
63' Ecuador look the more likely to get the goal needed right now. Japan are having to put in the hard yards chasing them down.
61' Ecuador roll the ball around while Japan stay alert. Velasco gets on the end of a raking pass to him on the right and whips a high cross in. Preciado's header back across the face of goal bounces wide and out of play.
59' Neither side can get anywhere in midfield at the moment. Nakajima presses Velasco a little too hard in Ecuador's half and concedes a free kick.
57' Shibasaki has a bloody head and is escorted off for treatment. He should be fine to continue shortly. Play resumes for now.
56' The referee stops play after there's a clash of heads between Orejuela and Shibasaki and the Japanese captain comes off the worse.
55' Kubo runs directly at Mena down Japan's left flank and wins a free kick for his efforts. It's easy to see why Real Madrid signed him.
53' Ecuador really are causing problems for Japan now. Japan lose the ball in midfield again and are let off by an offside flag against Ramirez.
52' Japan try to clear the ball upfield but Kubo loses the ball on the left flank. Ecuador race forward and win a throw down their right. Velasco puts a low cross into the area but Mena can only knock it out for a goal kick.
50' Mena tricks his way past Ikatura and lofts the ball to the far post where Mina is waiting. The centre back heads over. Ecuador are asking questions of Japan now.
49' From the corner, Valencia picks up the ball in Japan's box but loops his effort wide. 
47' Ecuador start the second half as they did the first. Valencia rolls the ball out wide to Velasco, whose cross-shot is blocked by Ikatura and rolls out of play. Ecuador corner. 
46' The second half is underway! Will we see a winner here?
E. Preciado
J. Méndez
45' Ecuador make a substitution at half time. Mendez is replaced by the Santos Laguna forward Preciado.
The stats in that first half were remarkably even - Ecuador had seven shots to Japan's eight, and they shared possession almost 50/50. One side needs a goal, though, or both are going out. Who will raise their game in the second half?
This is a quietly engrossing game. Japan look sprightly and nifty in midfield, and managed to grab the lead through Nakajima after forcing a hasty clearance from Dominguez. However, Ecuador came back into it for a spell and pulled things level via Mena. Both sides will fancy their chances in the second half.
45' + 1' Japan get a few minor chances to end the half. First Kubo fires wide from outside the box from the free kick he won, then Miyoshi skies another shot over. That'll be that for now.
45' There will be two added minutes in this first half.
44' Kubo dances his way through Ecuador's midfield and attempts a one-two with Miyoshi down the right flank. The teenager is taken out by Ramirez. He looks a decent talent.
42' Mendez swings the ball in after Sugioka fouls Mena down Ecuador's right. It's flicked on back across the box by Mina and Arboleda heads over.
41' Nakajima's looking lively in this game. The midfielder races through towards goal and attempts to chip the hesitant Dominguez but the ball lands just over the goal.
39' Japan win another corner down their right, conceded by Orejuela. Nakajima walks across to take it. Valencia heads it away. The ball soon comes back in but Velasco gets rid for good.
37' Ecuador deserve that goal after a spell of pressure, but it's end-to-end now! Kubo curls a shot high towards goal and Dominguez tips it over the bar. Nothing comes of the corner.
Á. Mena
35' GOAL! 1-1 ECUADOR! The ball is lofted back in by Mina. It's nodded down to Arboleda who forces the save from Kawashima! However, he can't clear it and Mena pokes the ball into the far corner!
34' Miyoshi blocks Ramirez's shot from outside the box. It's an Ecuador corner. Japan see it away, until...
33' Ecuador circulate the ball in front of Japan but Ibarra is the one to lose it. Ueda clears upfield. Ecuador keep the ball for now though.
T. Tomiyasu
Yellow Card
31' Tomiyasu is booked for raising his foot high while challenging a 50/50 ball with Valencia. The defender's unlucky to have been penalised there, but rules are rules.
29' The game's a little niggly at the moment. Okazaki wins a foul off Velasco.
27' Kubo has a shot blocked. Now it's Ecuador's turn. The cross comes in from Mena. Iwata backs into Valencia and stops him heading on goal. Ibarra gets a shot away but Shibasaki makes the clearance.
25' Another letoff for Japan as Tomiyasu dawdles in front of his box and Valencia nicks the ball off him. This time Kawashima rushes out to collect and spare his defence's blushes.
23' Japan's passing play is quite nice to watch. They've edged possession 55% to Ecuador's 45% so far.
21' That should be 1-1! Japan play the game in the right way but are clearly still a bit wet behind the ears. A rogue pass out from the back allows Mena to square for Valencia but Kawashima is in the right place to save!
19' Valencia wins a free kick in Ecuador's half after he's knocked to the floor by Ikatura. The Groningen defender on loan from Manchester City has marshalled his defence well so far.
17' That's Nakajima's fourth goal for his country, and it makes him Japan's second scorer at this Copa America.
S. Nakajima
15' GOAL! 1-0 JAPAN! It turns out that Okazaki's feet were both onside, and Nakajima's goal is given! A great start for Japan.
15' Nakajima lifts the ball into the net after Okazaki chases a through ball and Dominguez can only sweep the ball straight into his path. VAR will check - on first glance, it looks like Okazaki was offside...
13' Nakajima is next to have a try on goal as he takes on Velasco and blasts over from range. This Japan side may be young but they look skilful and capable.
12' Valencia picks up the ball outside the box and unleashes a powerful swerving shot that bends high and wide of Kawashima's goal. Japan need to be wary of Ecuador's second highest ever goalscorer.
10' Japan are settling into this game. Iwata surges down the right and has the ball nicked away from his feet by Arboleda. Japan's corner doesn't lead to much.
8' Japan's two goal hero against Uruguay, Miyoshi, tests Dominguez with a low drive. The 22-year-old Yokohama F. Marinos winger made an impression in that game and no doubt will be hoping to do so again.
7' Japan's elder statesman Okazaki expertly takes a direct ball down, turns and starts running towards the Ecuadorian defence before he's brought down by Mendez. Japan free kick.
5' Ecuador keep up the early pressure. Tomiyasu dallies over a loose ball for Valencia and leaves it for his keeper, the experienced Kawashima.
3' Ecuador start the game brightly as Orejuela tussles with Itakura down the right wing and wins a free kick. The free kick's swung in and Ueda heads it out for a corner which Japan clear.
1' And we're off! Ecuador are in their usual yellow shirts and blue shirts, while Japan are in their away white strip.
Japan can be considered the favourites in this game as Ecuador have won only two of their 18 Copa America games since 2004. That said, both of those wins came against non-CONMEBOL opponents - Mexico in 2015 and Haiti in 2016. Can this youthful Japan side overcome a limited Ecuador who are reliant on Valencia for goals?
Japan also only make the one switch from their 2-2 draw against Uruguay - 18-year-old Kubo, now of Real Madrid's reserve team, is chosen as captain Okazaki's partner up front. What an opportunity for him.
Ecuador make one enforced change from their 2-1 loss to Chile last time out. Hernan Dario Gomez brings Mina in at centre back to replace the suspended Gabriel Achilier, who got a red card in that game.
SUBS: Hiroki Abe, Ryosuke Kojima, Teruki Hara, Taishi Matsumoto, Daiki Suga, Ayase Ueda, Tatsuya Ito, Yugo Tatsuta, Yuta Nakayama, Kota Watanabe, Keisuke Osako, Daizen Maeda.
JAPAN (4-4-2): Eiji Kawashima; Tomoki Iwata, Naomichi Ueda, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Daiki Sugioka; Koji Miyoshi, Gaku Shibasaki (c), Ko Itakura, Shoya Nakajima;  Takefusa Kubo, Shinji Okazaki.
SUBS: Maximo Banguera, Luis Chicaiza, Jefferson Intriago, Beder Caicedo, Jose Quintero, Pedro Ortiz, Antonio Valencia, Carlos Garces, Xavier Arreaga, Ayrton Preciado.
ECUADOR (4-1-4-1): Alexander Dominguez; Pedro Velasco, Arturo Mina, Robert Arboleda, Cristian Ramirez; Carlos Gruezo; Angel Mena, Jefferson Orejuela, Sebastian Mendez, Romario Ibarra; Enner Valencia (c).
Neither Ecuador nor Japan have won a game yet in this tournament, although Japan held their own in a 2-2 draw with Uruguay a few days ago. Given that one of these two will have to play Brazil if they go through, now would be a good time to get a big confidence-boosting win. The alternative is going home.
This is the first time that Ecuador and Japan have met in a competitive fixture, and it will still just about mean something. A win for either side tonight and they'll finish third in Group C, allowing them to qualify for the knockout phase as one of the best third place finishers.
Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of this Copa America Group C match between Ecuador and Japan at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.